Sunday, December 18, 2005

Amazon Mechanical Turk

I like to let things simmer a bit before I jump in.

I let Gmail go for a while and eventually got an account via the awesome and now-defunct gmail invite server. It took me a bit to get around to building websites, and I finally got together an Angelfire website, then a Livejournal, then a Blogger site. I was hand-coding all the HTML on the first one, so the relative ease of posting/blogging was welcome.

Now I've tried Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Named after a fabulous chess-playing Clank, Amazon is offering businesses the ability to pick the brains of the loyal masses, in exchange for money deposited to their Amazon account.

Uh, I hate it. The basic format: tasks are listed, and the voracious appetite of the internet picks them off before I have a chance to respond. After a short time of attempting to pick up tasks, I have answered a number of survey questions and identified a few CD covers. I have four cents in my Amazon account, and have about 9 cents pending.

My main complaints:
  1. As I view tasks, I can't mark a task as "I'm totally wrong for this; don't show it to me anymore." Heck, Windows Update offers this feature. If I don't want to answer "The top 3 men I'd leave my partner for," I should be able to check a box that reads "Screw this. Never show me this crap again." Ditto the French tests. I can't do them, I fail. On to the next. Let me clear the queue, people.
  2. Oh, maaaaan. Someone totally cleaned up on this before everyone got in on the action.
  3. Whooo, 4 cents. That's really going to get me back again.
  4. There's a phantom HIT with one artist still left to identify.
I can click in circles and still not have any tasks or make any money. Are we Web 2.0 yet? Kathy Sierra is rolling around in her grave right now, folks.

Eeeh, I'll check back in a couple of times. If I don't make a quarter apiece on each visit, I'm done.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I happened upon Amazon M.T. two days ago, and I'm fed up with it already. First off, the "salary" is outragous and varied by job. Some tasks require hours of work, for only a quarter or fifty cents. I was scared, but I tried one out. It was a simple sign-up, review, get paid. I signed-up, I reviewed, I did not get paid. After I was done, I clicked "Submit task", nothing happened. It would not let me submit, even though I did everything. So, that person got what they asked for, but I did not get paid. After that, I am done, done and done with M.T. I did work, without being compensated, isn't that illegal?

3:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home